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NFT Valued At £60m As Private Equity Snaps Up Tasty Business
NFT Distribution Operations Limited, the UK market leader in chilled food distribution, has announced that the business has completed a deal with new private equity investor EmergeVest, valuing the company at over £60 million. The transaction includes integrated debt funding of up to GBP 42 million provided by Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance.
EmergeVest has acquired the entire shareholding of NFT’s original private equity backer, Phoenix Equity Partners, and alongside Investec is injecting additional capital to further grow the business in the UK and overseas. The current management team at NFT will remain with the business and maintain a significant shareholding in the company.
NFT is the vital supply-chain link between chilled food and drink manufacturers and the retailers. The distribution of products has to be expertly managed under strict temperature-controlled conditions and to very short timelines from the point of production to the supermarket shelf.
Since the MBO from Northern Foods in 2006, the business has seen sales increase 49 per cent, from GBP 114 million to GBP 170 million in the latest year to March 2014. The company runs seven strategically located sites at which it employs 2,000 full-time staff.
Commenting on today’s news David Frankish, CEO of NFT, said: “We have been diligent in our search for a new investment partner and are really pleased to be working with EmergeVest who have exhibited a great understanding of our market and a passion to help NFT fulfil its potential. They are keen to back management’s plans for growth based on innovation and continuous improvement to our service offering delivered by a highly skilled workforce and leading edge systems. With the additional financial backing of Investec, I am confident this deal is great news for our customers, employees and the wider logistics environment.”
Heath Zarin, Managing Director of EmergeVest, added: “We are delighted to establish this relationship with NFT, the UK market leader in chilled food logistics services. We believe the company is well positioned to expand its service offering within the UK and to enter new overseas markets. We have been very impressed by management’s ability to execute and their plans for developing the business further. We are also pleased that Investec participated in the transaction and will provide ongoing support to NFT through an innovative and flexible financing package. Overall, we are very excited about NFT’s growth prospects and ability to provide an ever-expanding suite of leading edge services.”
Richard Daw, Partner at Phoenix Equity Partners commented: “By investing substantial growth capital and by working hard alongside NFT’s excellent management team, we have together succeeded in establishing NFT in its market-leading position. We wish David Frankish and the management team every success in the next phase of the company’s development under their new ownership.”
Paul Rablen of Investec said: “We are partnering with a first class management team in a compelling business. We look forward to providing ongoing funding to underpin the next chapter of NFT’s growth under EmergeVest’s ownership.”
Building, civil engineering and structural steelwork contractor, Britcon has completed a contract to extend facilities at a Lidl store in Leicester.
The significant contract was awarded following previous successful contracts with the discount supermarket chain..
Britcon has added a bakery facility, replaced the floor and undertook a general upgrade in the 13,840 sq. ft. store in addition to providing new car parking facilities. Works were completed in just ten weeks to minimise disruption to shoppers.
Britcon maintains specialised expertise in the food industry and has previously completed retail build contracts for other well-known food stores as well as specialised food manufacturing facilities and food waste disposal through the construction of anaerobic digestion plants for a number of clients.
Waitrose To Open first National Distribution Centre
Waitrose is to open a state-of-the-art national distribution centre (NDC) to be developed by Gazeley at its Magna Park development in Milton Keynes in Summer 2015.
The retailer is in talks to transfer the operation at the nearby Kuehne+Nagel-run Celestia depot - which services Waitrose - to the national distribution centre. TUPE is expected to apply, and, over the next few months, consultation will begin with K+N employees at Celestia.
The NDC, which will be the size of twelve Premiership football pitches, will handle the distribution of around 25,000 nationally available grocery and Home department lines that can be found in Waitrose branches and on Waitrose.com.
The NDC will deliver the national lines via Waitrose’s four regional distribution centres [RDCs]. It also simplifies the supply chain and improves the efficiency of handling nationally available lines that have historically had to be sent between RDCs. This enables more sustainable growth.
David Jones, Waitrose Supply Chain Director, said: “The decision to open our first National Distribution Centre marks a pivotal moment in our supply chain history and reflects our phenomenal growth. Waitrose has outperformed the market for five years and we have ambitious plans to open 38 shops in 2014 and continue to expand our online platform.
“By simplifying our supply chain, we improve its resilience and greatly improve our ability to serve our branches now and in the future.”